New Programs and Improvements for the 2018-19 School Year
Diocesan Led Initiatives
The Catholic Schools Alliance has set “Celebrate the Beauty of Every Child” as the theme for the 2018-19 school year. In collaboration with the Diocesan Pro-Life Office, the Catholic Schools Office will plan events and activities to help schools and parishes embrace this theme and live it out in their communities.
Superintendent Stephen Perla helped establish Project Access. Project Access is a joint effort with the Archdiocese of Boston, the Dioceses of Worcester and Springfield, the Christian Schools Network, and Jewish Day Schools to lobby at the state level for services that our students are eligible to receive according to state and federal law. Project Access has hired Mary Ann Hart to lobby on behalf of students for nursing services and additional onsite special education services. Hart started in August and will work closely with Perla on key issues the state is considering this year.
MAP Growth Assessment
This year, students in kindergarten through grade 8 will be taking the MAP Growth Assessment instead of the historically used IOWA Assessment. This change was made on the recommendation of a committee who reviewed assessment options and determined that the MAP Growth Assessment will better serve students and teachers. Instead of having one long testing session in the Spring, students will take a short assessment three times a year. Because the assessment is computer-based, teachers will receive their students’ scores in almost real time and can make adjustments to their instruction to meet the needs of each student.
To support this change, Dr. Mary Pat Tranter, Director of Strategic Initiatives, will work with schools to provide data analysis support and professional development to teachers to help them utilize this new data source. The change to MAP is aligned with the Catholic Schools Office emphasis on data-driven instruction, which sees data as a tool to identify each student’s strengths and weaknesses and provide additional support or challenge as needed.
Catholic schools in Fall River and New Bedford are entering their second year of a Math Initiative aimed at improving instruction and student learning. Thanks to a grant from the Flatley Foundation the Catholic Schools Office has contracted with Looney Consultants to provide professional development and instructional coaching for teachers. Both are aimed at helping teachers differentiate their instruction to help students with different learning needs gain mastery of the content. Based on Looney’s recommendation, this year seven elementary schools are moving to Eureka Math Curriculum which includes an online component that allows for personalized learning. Saint Stanislaus School in Fall River is moving to Saxon Math to align with their Classical Curriculum.
Personalized Learning Model
Bishop Stang High School and St. James – St. John in New Bedford, Holy Trinity in Fall River, and Coyle and Cassidy High School and Middle School in Taunton are entering their second year of transitioning to a Personalized Learning Model. Personalized Learning is individualized instruction for every student through the use of both the classroom teacher and supportive technology. Technology allows the teacher to provide instruction that is adaptive and data rich. Thanks to a grant from the Flatley Foundation, these schools have received professional development, additional technology, and furniture to help them transition their educational model.
Bishop Feehan High School
Over the summer Bishop Feehan High School completed their expanded parking lot. This school year they are adding an AP Capstone program for their juniors and seniors. They have partnered with Virtual High School to offer a huge expansion of elective and other courses to their upperclassmen. They have also partnered with PERTS (Project for Education Research that Scales) to run a Growth Mindset and Belonging Intervention for all 9th graders.
St. John the Evangelist
St. John the Evangelist hired a Reading Specialist / Special Education teacher to help support students across the academic spectrum. She will work with students one-on-one and in groups.
St. Mary Sacred Heart
St. Mary Sacred Heart installed sink sensors to prevent sinks from overflowing, repainted the front portico and is finishing the installation of a new sound system.
St. Mary Catholic School
St. Mary Catholic School has 9 new staff members joining their school this year.
Cape Cod Deanery
St. John Paul II High School – St. Francis Xavier Preparatory – St. Margaret Regional School
Much work was done at St. Margaret Regional School over the summer. They converted their computer lab into a multipurpose room and created a new art and music room. They painted all the classrooms and installed new flooring throughout the school. The gym floor was also refurbished. The front foyer was completely redone and, thanks to parent volunteers, significant changes were made to the landscape. Over the summer, teachers received professional development on the new Pearson science program that is being integrated into the curriculum. They have also added a new Strings program and Spanish curriculum, both of which will serve students in Pre-K through grade 4. Gym class has been expanded to twice a week for each grade and lunch and recess is now 45 minutes total.
The exterior of St. Francis Xavier Preparatory was completely repainted and inside they improved the flooring. They revamped the performing arts programs so that all grade 7 and 8 students will participate in band, chorus, dance, or strings.
St. John Paul II High School completed a major parking lot renovation that included a new traffic flow to improve safety. The main office has been completely renovated and a new water station was installed for students. They are continuing to grow their AP Capstone course and will be adding an AP research class.
St. Pius X School
Despite having no need for capital improvements, the student population at St. Pius X saw an increase to 242 students opening day.
Fall River Deanery
Bishop Connolly High School
Over the summer Bishop Connolly High School converted all the lighting in the school to LED, installed 10 new projectors, and updated the window treatments. Outside they replaced the fence around the baseball and soccer fields and added a new scoreboard and sound system. They also painted the back of the school. This year they will be running an Environmental Expo for 7th-grade students and are continuing their Algebra 1 Dual Enrollment course with 29 students participating.
Espirito Santo Parochial School
Espirito Santo Parochial School also converted all their lighting to LED this summer. They also renovated their computer lab and added 30 new computers. Additionally technology will be added to the classrooms. This summer they ran their first summer program and had 37 students participate. This year they will be expanding their special education services to be able to serve more students across the academic spectrum.
Holy Name hired Jana McHenry as their Director of Advancement and Alumni. Mrs. McHenry was previously the Director of Advancement at Bishop Stang High School and is an alumnus of Holy Name School.
Holy Trinity added 30 new iPads and 60 new Chromebooks to aid in their transition to personalized learning. At this point, the middle school is at a 1:1 ratio with technology. They also created a new special education classroom to serve their growing special education program. Thanks to the Carney Family Charitable Foundation they now have a ceramics studio that includes 43 wheels and a kiln. Ceramics will be worked into the curriculum across subjects. They now have a school counselor in the building four days a week to support students academically and with social and emotional needs.
St. Michael School
St. Michael School spent the bulk of their summer replacing the roof and ceiling. They are working to install new smart boards in each classroom and are usingLeveled Literacy Intervention Program from Fountas & Pinnell. This program will help fill the gaps for students who are reading below grade level and challenge students who are excelling. They are also launching a new Virtues Program by Disciples of Christ.
St. Stanislaus is in their second year of a three-year transition to a classical curriculum. Classical education is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue by nourishing the soul on the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Church’s intellectual tradition. They are also offering an art program for senior citizens that will fund their Gifted and Talented Program.
New Bedford Deanery
All Saints Catholic School
All Saints Catholic School installed air conditioning in the Pre K 3, Pre K 4, and extended care rooms. The front steps were repointed and the landscaping was improved. They redesigned the front lobby and added a digital display. The floors were stripped and resealed. They added new furniture in the Pre K classrooms and the cafeteria. The middle school annex has new flooring in the hallway and grades 5 and 6 classrooms.
Bishop Stang High School
Bishop Stang High School replaced all the hallway flooring and lighting. They now have 100% LED lighting throughout the school. They completed the renovation of the science wing with the completion of their new physics lab and environmental studies classroom. They refurnished four classrooms to aid in their transition to blended learning. As part of personalized learning, students in grades 9 – 12 will take the MAP Growth Assessment for ELA and Math. They created a new school store and now have a dance club. They hired a part-time Special Education teacher and have a new Student Services Director who will oversee the student wellness program. Their theme for this year is “Called to be Saints”. They are kicking off their athletic field and facilities renovation project this year.
Holy Family Holy Name
Holy Family Holy Name is searching for a new principal following the retirement of longtime principal Cecilia Felix in the spring. While the search takes place Marianne McGlynn is the Lead Administrator for the school.
St. Francis Xavier
St. Francis Xavier hired a part-time Special Education teacher.
St. Joseph transformed their technology lab into an additional classroom. This was possible because of the mobile computer lab of Chromebooks that allows for technology integration inside the classroom. They are also installing smart whiteboards. They painted the middle school bathrooms and added inspirational quotes to the walls. They also added three air conditioners for the middle school classrooms.
Coyle and Cassidy High School and Middle
Coyle and Cassidy High School and Middle School formed a partnership with Morton Hospital to offer students a Certified Nursing Assistant program. Over the summer 10 students participated in the program, and in August they passed the licensure exam and are now qualified to work as CNAs and Home Health Aides. Coyle and Cassidy is in their second year of building a Special Education program. They received a grant to hire a special education teacher and aide last year. This year they have a veteran special education teacher who will provide instructional coaching for teachers. They are working to create an engineering lab complete with 3D Printers and other equipment to help students gain hands-on experience.
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes created a resources room in the cafeteria. It will be used as a library, technology center, and art and music room. They updated their technology throughout the school with new computer stations and smart whiteboards in each classroom,as well as new laptops for teachers. They created a new teacher resources room that will double as a meeting room. A volunteer is starting an engineering and robotics program that students from kindergarten through grade 4 will participate in. It is in partnership with Coyle and Cassidy who will send their students over to help with the younger students.